‘Pioneering statesman, master strategist’: Modi, Kovind join politicians, actors in paying tributes to Pranab Mukherjee


Pranab Mukherjee, who served as the 13th President of the country from 2012 to 2017, passed away on Monday at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital.

Pranab Mukherjee, who served as the 13th President of the country from 2012 to 2017, passed away on Monday at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital. He was 84-year-old.

Mukherjee, who was admitted to the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital on 10 August and was operated for the removal of a clot in the brain the same day, is survived by two sons and a daughter.

The long-time Congress leader and seven-time parliamentarian had tested positive for COVID-19 at the time of his admission and was being treated for a lung infection. He had suffered a septic shock on Sunday due to it. Doctors said he died of a cardiac arrest at 4.30 pm.

Mukherjee’s son Abhijit announced the former President’s death on Twitter.

“With a Heavy Heart, this is to inform you that my father Shri Pranab Mukherjee has just passed away inspite the best efforts of the doctors of RR Hospital and prayers, duas and prarthanas from people throughout India!”, he wrote.

Soon after the news was announced, condolences and tributes began to pour in from eminent personalities from all walks of life from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind to Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee as well as actors and sportspersons.

President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted that the demise of Pranab Mukherjee marks the passing of an era.

“A colossus in public life, he served Mother India with the spirit of a sage. The nation mourns losing one of its worthiest sons. Condolences to his family, friends & all citizens,” the President wrote.

In separate tweets, the President added that Pranab Mukherjee remained rooted to the ground irrespective of the exalted offices he held in his five-decade long career. Kovind also termed Mukherjee’s decision to discontinue the use of the honorific ‘His Excellency’ as historic.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu condoled the passing away of Pranab Mukherjee and said, “The country has lost an elder statesman in his death.” Naidu said that Pranab Mukherjee brought dignity and decorum to every post held by him during his long and distinguished public service.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his pictures with Pranab Mukherjee and said the former President has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. The PM said Pranab Mukherjee was an “outstanding Parliamentarian, always well-prepared, extremely articulate as well as witty.”

“As India’s President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee made Rashtrapati Bhavan even more accessible to common citizens. He made the President’s house a centre of learning, innovation, culture, science and literature. His wise counsel on key policy matters will never be forgotten by me,” Modi wrote.

The Prime Minister also shared the picture from when he took first took oath as the leader of the country in 2014. The oath was administered by Mukherjee.

“From Day 1, I was blessed to have the guidance, support and blessings of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I will always cherish my interactions with him. Condolences to his family, friends, admirers and supporters across India. Om Shanti,” the prime minister tweeted.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed his condolences and said, “Pranab da’s distinguished career is a matter of great pride for the entire country.”

The home minister said that the demise of the former President has left a huge void in the Indian polity.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called the demise of Pranab Mukherjee a “personal loss”.

In a separate tweet, Singh added that Mukherjee’s contribution to public life was invaluable.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India lost an “experienced and seasoned leader” with Mukherjee’s death.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “With great sadness, the nation receives the news of the unfortunate demise of our former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I join the country in paying homage to him. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family and friends.”

The Congress remembered Mukherjee as one of the tallest leaders of the party, adding that will always be remembered for his integrity and compassion.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “It is with deep sorrow I write this. Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee has left us. An era has ended. For decades he was a father figure. From my first win as MP, to being my senior Cabinet colleague, to his becoming President while I was CM So many memories. A visit to Delhi without Pranabda is unimaginable. He is a legend in all subjects from politics to economics. Will be forever grateful. Shall miss him immensely.”

Political leaders across the country, including Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma condoled Mukherjee’s death.

Scindia remembered Mukherjee as “a stalwart of Indian polity who has left behind an unmatched legacy” and said that his death created “a vacuum that can never be filled.”

Union minister Jitendra Singh recalled the time he had spent with the former president during a three-nation tour. “It was a treat sitting beside him and listen to him like a student,” he said.

Film personalities, sportsmen too paid their tributes to the veteran leader. Actor Ajay Devgn, Telugu actor Mahesh Babu were among those who condoled the demise of Pranab Mukherjee.

India cricket captain Virat Kohli also expressed his grief over the passing away of Mukherjee. “The nation has lost a brilliant leader,” he wrote.

Cricketer Ishant Sharma tweeted saying that Pranab Mukherjee was a great leader and served the country in many ways.

Paralympian Deepa Mallik shared a picture of receiving an award from Pranab Mukherjee.

With inputs from PTI

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